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B2Gold Announces Positive Exploration Drilling Results from its Inaugural Drilling Campaign at the Back River Gold District in Nunavut and Provides an Update on Construction and Mining at the Goose Project

by ahnationtalk on November 22, 202325 Views

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 21, 2023– B2Gold Corp. (TSX: BTO, NYSE AMERICAN: BTG, NSX: B2G) (“B2Gold” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce positive exploration drilling results from its inaugural drilling campaign at the Back River Gold District in Nunavut and provide an update on construction and mining at the Goose Project.

Exploration and Infill Drill Results Highlights

  • 23,605 meters (“m”) drilled in 77 holes as of the end of October 2023, with results received from 42 of the 77 holes
  • Exploration drilling intersected high-grade mineralization 110 m down plunge from the existing mineral resource boundary at the Goose Project’s Llama deposit
    • Drill hole 23GSE-626 returned 7.79 grams per tonne (“g/t”) over 22.00 m from 729.00 m, including a higher grade interval of 11.22 g/t over 14.40 m, at a vertical depth of 660 m, which tested a folded part of the structure 110 m down plunge from previous legacy drilling; and
    • This result demonstrates the continuity of gold grades and widths of these mineralized structures, and the Llama deposit remains open at depth.
  • Drill results for infill and mine development, received to date on the Goose Project’s Umwelt deposit confirm the continuity of high-grade mineralization, with several drill holes returning intercepts with higher gold grades and widths than predicted by the mineral resource model
    • Drill hole 23GSE-618 returned 14.28 g/t gold over 16.00 m from 248.00 m;
    • Drill hole 23GSE-620 returned 10.20 g/t gold over 19.00 m from 274.00 m;
    • Drill hole 23GSE-622 returned 17.14 g/t gold over 17.05 m from 191.00 m;
    • Drill hole 23GSE-625B returned 11.24 g/t gold over 24.15 m from 188.85 m; and
    • The results from these drill holes will be included into the upcoming Goose Project optimized life of mine plan.

In the second quarter of 2023, B2Gold approved a US$20 million exploration budget for the balance of 2023 to complete approximately 25,000 m of drilling on the Back River Gold District, significantly higher than historical annual exploration expenditures. Drilling at the Goose Project began in early August 2023 with two drill rigs, testing the Llama deposit down-plunge for mineral resource confirmation and mineral resource expansion, and testing regional targets that were developed based on structural modelling and geophysical re-processing. The objective for drilling at the George Project was to test several targets over a strike length of 10 kilometers (“km”).

As of the end of October 2023, B2Gold had completed 17,595 m of drilling over 51 drill holes on the Goose Project, and a further 6,010 m of drilling over 26 drill holes on the George Project.

Figure 1. Back River Gold District Overview.

Goose Project Exploration

The Goose Project consists of five known deposits with existing mineral resources, Umwelt, Llama, Goose, Echo and Nuvuyak, which occur along a strike length of 8 km. The Company believes that exploration upside exists on all known deposits that are open at depth, as well as several zones of interest that remain relatively untested within the footprint of the favorable host stratigraphy. Ongoing structural and data review will form the basis of an aggressive 2024 exploration season to drill test several zones of interest.

As of October 31, 2023, assay results have been received from 16 of the 51 drilled holes at the Goose Project.

At the Umwelt deposit, drilling was designed to confirm geometry and grade continuity of high-grade shoots below the planned open pits. Results received to date confirm the continuity of high-grade mineralization in the hinge and short limb of the Umwelt antiform and will provide critical information for underground mine design planning. Since the end of October, a further 17 drill holes are planned for completion in 2023.

At the Llama deposit, which outcrops 1,500 m north of the Umwelt deposit, two holes were drilled, which have confirmed the extension of the structure at depth. Drill hole 23GSE-626 returned an impressive 7.79 g/t over 22.00 m from 729.00 m, including a higher grade intercept of 11.22 g/t over 14.40 m, and was designed to test the favorable stratigraphy 660 m vertically, and 110 m down plunge beyond previously reported inferred mineral resources. Drill hole 23GSE-614 returned high-grade narrow results on the less drilled east limb of the Llama deposit including 32.75 g/t gold over 2.05 m from 365.95 m.

Significant 2023 drill results from the Goose Project include:

HoleID Area From (m) To (m) Length (m) Au (g/t) Au (g/t) Capped 1
23GSE614 Llama Ext 365.95 368.00 2.05 32.75 29.33
23GSE615 Umwelt 297.00 301.60 4.60 12.94 12.94
23GSE616 Umwelt 290.53 298.42 7.89 16.44 16.44
23GSE617 Umwelt 252.75 280.70 27.95 8.42 8.42
Incl Umwelt 252.75 258.45 5.70 17.40 10.23
and Umwelt 264.50 274.00 9.50 8.87 8.87
23GSE618 Umwelt 248.00 264.00 16.00 14.28 11.13
Incl Umwelt 254.00 255.00 1.00 100.50 50.00
23GSE620 Umwelt 274.00 293.00 19.00 10.20 10.20
Incl Umwelt 279.90 291.10 11.20 15.50 15.50
23GSE621 Goose Met 38.00 49.20 11.20 14.92 12.92
23GSE622 Umwelt 191.00 208.10 17.05 17.14 17.14
Incl Umwelt 191.00 196.00 5.00 25.08 25.08
and Umwelt 204.00 208.05 4.05 25.79 25.79
23GSE623 Umwelt 288.95 304.00 15.05 7.20 7.20
Incl Umwelt 288.95 296.75 7.80 12.64 12.64
23GSE624 Umwelt 294.55 298.25 3.70 6.93 6.93
23GSE625B Umwelt 188.85 213.00 24.15 11.24 9.78
23GSE626 Llama Ext 729.00 751.00 22.00 7.79 6.16
Incl Llama Ext 731.60 746.00 14.40 11.22 8.73

Notes:

  1. Capped at 50 g/t gold
  2. Drill intercepts are perpendicular to the zones so true widths are very similar to reported drill lengths

The Goose Project drill program will continue until mid-December 2023 to target high-grade plunging shoots at Umwelt. The drill program in 2024 will start late in the first quarter of 2024 and focus on drilling several zones on the Goose Project to expand known mineral resources and test new areas for mineral resource upside potential.

George Project Exploration

At the George Project, located 50 km northwest of the Goose Project, a 2023 spring and summer drill program tested multiple targets along a 10 km strike length to evaluate mineralization controls and upside potential with 6,010 m drilled over 26 drill holes.

The George Project represents three sub-parallel zones of tightly folded banded iron formation that stretch over 20 km in strike length.

Drill results from the 2023 campaign reflect similar widths and grades as those reported by previous operators, with several holes from the 2023 program extending mineralization along strike and between known zones of mineral resources. Drill hole 23GRL-216 returned encouraging results, intersecting 19.17 g/t gold over 7.50 m from 36.60 m, very close to surface between two known deposits (LCPS and LCPN). In the southwestern part of the belt in the GH area, drill holes 23GRL-207 and 23GRL-211 extended mineralization to the south of the existing mineral resource pit shell.

Significant 2023 drill results from the George Project include:

HoleID Area From (m) To (m) Length (m) Au (g/t) Au (g/t)

Capped 1

23GRL201 TPN 152.33 154.40 2.07 18.70 18.70
23GRL207 GH 43.60 49.10 5.50 4.69 4.69
and GH 57.10 59.38 2.28 8.28 8.28
23GRL208 LCPS 250.92 254.00 3.08 11.85 11.85
and LCPS 268.00 271.00 3.00 5.91 5.91
and LCPS 275.00 278.00 3.00 4.49 4.49
23GRL211 GH 51.75 55.00 3.25 10.09 10.09
23GRL216 LCPS 36.60 44.10 7.50 19.17 18.58
23GRL217 Forest 104.00 105.80 1.80 8.39 8.39

Notes:

  1. Capped at 40 g/t gold

Quality Assurance/Quality Control on Sample Collection and Assaying

The primary laboratory utilized for the Back River Gold District drilling program in 2023 is ALS laboratory in North Vancouver, Canada. Core samples are prepared at the ALS preparation facility in Yellowknife with representative pulp samples sent to the ALS North Vancouver laboratory for gold analysis. Gold is analyzed by a fire assay/atomic absorption spectrometry (FA/AAS) finish using a 50 gram subsample of the coin pulp. FAs were finished with AAS, and samples with higher grades that exceeded the maximum detection limit of AAS received a supplemental gravimetric (“GRAV”) finish. All samples over 3,000 parts per billion are analyzed by FA/GRAV using a 50 gram subsample of the coin pulp. Activation Laboratories Ltd. (Actlabs) in Kamloops, Canada, is the umpire laboratory.

Quality assurance and quality control procedures include the systematic insertion of blanks and standards into the core sample strings. The results of the control samples are evaluated on a regular basis with batches re-analyzed and/or resubmitted as needed. All results stated in this announcement have passed B2Gold’s quality assurance and quality control protocols.

Goose Project, Nunavut, Construction and Mining Update

Construction at the Goose Project is progressing on track, with the project remaining on schedule for first gold pour in the first quarter of 2025. Open pit mining is underway at the Echo Pit and underground development work on the Umwelt deposit is ongoing.

The first concrete pour was completed in July 2023 and concrete and steel work in the mill area to date are progressing ahead of schedule. Erection of the structural steel for the mill building, power house and truck shop is well underway, and cladding is advancing quickly on the mill building with the roof complete and over 50% of the building cladding completed. Cladding of both the power house and truck shop has begun. Enclosure of these three buildings will allow for work to continue through the colder months and remain on schedule. Additionally, it is expected that the ball mill will be set in place in December 2023, approximately six months ahead of schedule, allowing the focus for the start of 2024 to shift to piping and mechanical systems.

In July 2023, Phase 1 of the accommodation complex opened, including sleeping quarters, office area, medical center, gymnasium, kitchens and water treatment. Phase 1 of the accommodation complex includes 310 beds at the permanent site location. In September 2023, the earthworks necessary to extend the airstrip to 5,000 feet were completed. The extension of the airstrip will allow large capacity, fully loaded passenger planes to land at the Goose Project throughout the 2024 construction campaign. In mid-October, the 2023 sealift was successfully completed, with a total of six ships received from global ports bringing a total shipping volume of 90,000 cubic meters of dry cargo and 24,000,000 liters of arctic grade diesel fuel to the Marine Laydown Area (“MLA”). The 2023 sealift included all planned material sealift materials required for the successful construction, commissioning and mining of the Goose Project.

The 163 km winter ice road (“WIR”) between the MLA and the Goose Project is scheduled to operate between February and the end of April. The 2024 WIR construction team will mobilize to the MLA and Goose Project sites in early and mid-December 2023, with the construction of the 2024 WIR expected to begin in December 2023. At the MLA, preparations for the 2024 WIR are well underway, including maintenance and preparation of the WIR construction and haulage fleet and staging all materials for shipment on the WIR to the Goose Project site.

Open pit mining of the Echo Pit is underway and will produce construction fill, stockpile ore and provide tailings storage capacity. Open pit mining of the Umwelt Pit will commence in the first quarter of 2024 and will produce much of the commissioning ore as well as future tailings storage. Underground development of the Umwelt deposit is also underway, currently at a depth of 142 vertical meters below surface. Breakthrough of the initial ventilation raise has been completed and development towards the ore zones is in progress with more than 2,100 meters of lateral development completed to date.

B2Gold recognizes that respect and collaboration with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association (“KIA”) is central to the license to operate in the Back River Gold District and will continue to prioritize developing the project in a manner that recognizes Inuit priorities, addresses concerns, and brings long-term socio economic benefits to the Kitikmeot Region. B2Gold looks forward to continuing to build on its strong collaboration with the KIA and Kitikmeot Communities.

About B2Gold

B2Gold is a low-cost international senior gold producer headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Founded in 2007, today, B2Gold has operating gold mines in Mali, Namibia and the Philippines, a mine under construction in northern Canada and numerous development and exploration projects in various countries including Mali, Colombia and Finland. B2Gold forecasts total consolidated gold production of between 1,000,000 and 1,080,000 ounces in 2023.

Qualified Persons

Brian Scott, P. Geo., Vice President, Geology & Technical Services, a qualified person under NI 43-101, has approved the scientific and technical information related to exploration and mineral resource matters contained in this news release.

ON BEHALF OF B2GOLD CORP.

“Clive T. Johnson”

President and Chief Executive Officer

For more information on B2Gold please visit the Company website at www.b2gold.com or contact:
Michael McDonald
VP, Investor Relations & Corporate Development
+1 604-681-8371
investor@b2gold.com

Cherry De Geer
Director, Corporate Communications
+1 604-681-8371
investor@b2gold.com

NT4

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